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If you have occasion to anchor where there are rocks, or in a barbour or bay where fishing boats have been moored, it will not do to let go your anchor without an additional provision for getting it up again, for if it gets foul of a rock or the old moorings and lost anchors, which are the usual accompaniments of harbours, you may not be able to get it up by any amount of hauling on the cable. Therefore, bend a line on to the crown of the anchor and attach a buoy to it. Then, if the anchor does not come in, you can trip it by means of the buoy line, which will have the effect of unhooking the anchor by pulling it the contrary way.
On inland waters there are frequently the obstructions of bridges to contend with. If they are of the kind which swing open of course you will sail or pole through ; but do not be in a hurry and try to go through till the bridge is well open unless your boat is well under command, for it is a very easy thing to foul a bridge and carry away a forestay or shroud. The current is generally stronger beneath bridges, because of the contraction of space.
Where the tide races very strong, as at Great Yarmouth, the plan adopted is to drop down stern first, with a weight dragging on the bottom and attached to a rope at the bows. By means of the rudder the yacht can be made to steer wherever necessary.
Where the bridges are fixed ones, of course the mast must be lowered, and in yachts which are likely to have to pass under bridges the mast is fitted in a tabernacle, and can be lowered by means of the forestay. The lower end has bolts upon which counterbalancing weights can be fixed, so that the labour is not very great: the weights, when not in use, are taken off and stowed among the ballast. The boom and yard must be detached from the mast before it is lowered.
In locks, the cautions necessary are to enter gently, and not drive your bowsprit against the further door. Keep her from knocking against the sides, and, if the water is rising, be particularly careful that she does not get pinned down underneath any projecting ledge or beam, as if she is you may not be able to free her without damage ; also, if the water is falling, mind she does not get wedged across the lock. We have seen a boat caught thus and left without support by the water, to her great damage, and we have also seen a boat swamped by being held down as before mentioned.
Shoal water is perhaps the greatest horror of yachtsmen, and “ to get the shore on board” half a dozen times in a day, as we have done in a strange river, is a thing to vex the most placid. If the bottom is hard you do not feel it until you receive the shock, and are hard and fast, but if it is soft mud you can feel the keel enter it before the final stop. Then if you put the helm hard over, you may be able to slew her sufficiently round to enable you to back the jib, which is a more powerful agent in getting you
off than all your shoving, if your craft is not a very small Of course you will shove also if the jib fails
Ease off the sheet to let the wind out of the mainsail, and in a centreboarder lift up the centre-board if it is not jammed. Working the helm to and fro, and running from side to side, so as to sway her, will aid in loosening her from the mud. If necessary also you can send out your jolly boat, if you have one, with an anchor astern, and haul on the cable. If you have gone on while running before the wind, the sails must be lowered immediately. If the tide is rising, a few minutes of waiting will perhaps enable you to float off, but if the tide is ebbing you must work your “level best” to get off immediately, or you will be stuck fast until the next tide. In such a case you must get out your “ legs” to prevent her careening over on her side. If you are unprovided with legs, the boat-hook and spare spars must be used as props.
Always carry spare shackles, nails, screws, hammer, spun yarns, and spare rope, in case of carrying anything away.
Do not let water accumulate in the bottom of your boat, but pump it out each day, if there is any appreciable quantity. If the bilge smells foul, as it sometimes will if the yacht has been in dirty or careless hands, pour a lot of water in with a bucket, and then pump it out again. If
your sails get wet never fold them up tightly, or they will certainly get mildewed, and their appearance spoilt. Leave them in loose folds, and at the first opportunity hoist them up to dry. When you moor for any time, always put the sail cover on (if the sails are dry). You can make your sail cover yourself if you like, by getting a piece of sailcloth of the requisite length and breadth, hemming it strongly, and attaching the tyers. It can be made waterproof by painting it with boiled linseed oil, in which some patent driers have been mixed.
The mildew appears in the form of little black spots, which speedily cover the sail. There is no remedy, but the appearance may be greatly improved by stretching the sail on the grass, scrubbing it with soap and water, and then dusting it over both sides with whiting. Mildew may be kept off for a long time by steeping the sails in salt water occasionally. No doubt a solution of Tidman's Sea Salt would do where sea water is not procurable.
A sailmaker's needle and palm (the latter being a contrivance to take the place of a lady's thimble, and fitting on the ball of the thumb) will be useful things to have on board, in case of a rent in the sails, which should be speedily mended, on the principle that a stitch in time saves nine.
THE EXPENSES OF YACHTING.
Many a young fellow is deterred from the pursuit of boat sailing by the expense, and others again go into it without having considered the cost, and find it an inconvenient drain on their pocket when it is rather too late. We take it, that very few of our young readers will have unlimited pocket money to spare, therefore some suggestions as to what the pastime costs may be useful.
The purchase of a boat is the first consideration. If new, an open or half decked boat would cost from £30 to £70, if well built, sails, ballast, and all. Secondhand, the price will not be more than half, as a general rule, if the purchaser is good at making a bargain. There are alwaye plenty of yachts advertised for sale at low rates, but the major part of them will be found old, rotten, and useless. Never buy a boat that has a single rotten place in her hull. Take your pocket knife out and prod into every place which is at all hidden from the light. If the hull is sound she may be worth buying cheap for that alone, and you can have new upper works, although altering an old boat is frequently nearly as expensive as building a new one. One thing is certain that the builders' prices on the Thames and on the south coast are so “ fearsome for the work done, that we shall never trouble them. In Norfolk there are many boat builders whose workmanship is equal to the Thames men, while their prices are one half, or even less. Thus, Allen, of Coltishall, built an eightton yacht, all oak, copper fastened, hull and spars, for £60. Collins, of the same place, is another good builder. Mollett, of Carrow, Norwich, is a good and intelligent builder, who will easily understand any special idea or directions you may have to communicate. A centre-board gig built by him has lately been showing the Thames boats the way over the course.
Of sails, G. Chambers, of 112 Row, Great Yarmouth, is an excellent maker, at reasonable prices, and his sails set beautifully.
Mr. T. E. Biddle, in his book on “Model Yacht Building and Sailing," gives the following estimate of the cost of purchase and keep of a yacht for the first year as follows:
65 0 0
10 0 0
Cost of six-ton yacht with dinghy (of course
sails and gear
clean while afloat, at 15s. a week for about six
months of the year Sundries...
18 0 0
Total expense for the first year
... £98 0 0
He goes on to say
“ There are several means of lessening even the above expenditure. For instance, if the would-be Corinthian is a bit of a mechanic, and has a little leisure time, he can find much amusement in doing the vessel up himself. Painting, varnishing, and the various little odd jobs which have always to be attended to about the interior of a newly bought craft do not require any very great skill in their performance, but cost a great deal when done by regular workmen. Again, if the owner is living close to his moorings, he can dispense with the hire of a boy, and merely 'tip' some waterman to give an eye to her occasionally.”
That the Bazaar, Exchange and Mart is a good medium for buying boats, we have satisfactory proof. We bought a 20ft. centre-board boat for £12 through an advertisement in that